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A States' Broadband Plan

A States' Broadband Plan

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Published by ALEC
For more information, please visit www.alec.org.
For more information, please visit www.alec.org.

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Published by: ALEC on Feb 04, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/08/2014

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1
The States’
Broadband Plan:
Three Suggested Policies to Promote Broadband in the States
January, 2014
 
 2
Introduction
State lawmakers face difficult economic challenges. While many Americans worry that  job and unemployment numbers remain stubbornly high, citizens look to their elected representatives in the state and federal government to offer sound solutions. Since 1973, the American Legislative Exchange Council has focused on providing practical policy answers to challenges facing America. State lawmakers can conqu
er today’s economic challenges by refocusing on our nation’s
founding principles of limited government, free markets and federalism. The states, not Washington, D.C., are in a position to take the
lead, restart America’s economic engine and
put people back to work. The Exchange Council provides a unique opportunity for state legislators, business leaders and citizen organizations from around the country to develop model policies based on academic research, existing state policy and effective business practices. These policies are the result of task force research and debate, and are intended to be academic documents for individual study. While these state-based policy solutions are meant to facilitate economic growth, one size does not fit all. Legislators have the opportunity to determine, in consultation with their constituents and legislative colleagues, what works best for their communities.
The American Legislative Exchange Council’s
Task Force on Communications and Technology is composed of nearly 200 members representing all regions of the country and every segment of industry, who believe that constant, dynamic innovation in communications and technology presents numerous complexities that defy traditional public policy prescriptions. To help policymakers understand the changes underway in the 21
st
 Century economy,
 
the Task Force brings together state legislators, private industry and experts to develop public policies that will promote economic growth, freedom of technology and innovation in the states. The American Legislative Exchange Council Task Force on Communications and Technology is pleased to provide the following three model policies, with hyperlinks to the policy text, to the public and our members as suggestions to spur more economic growth through broadband.
Suggested Policies
 
 3
 Advanced Voice Services Availability Act
The best way to address the economic problems facing the country is to increase economic opportunity, investing in and fostering potential growth areas of the economy that hold real promise to create jobs and wealth. Few areas hold as much promise as broadband access to the Internet, especially mobile broadband. Over the past two years, the broadband industry has collectively invested over $120 billion in research, equipment and people.
1
 
Broadband has created new products, services, systems, and applications for users. In fact, an
entire sector of the economy, termed the “app economy,” has emerged. Of course, these
 new products and services require software engineers, designers, artists and subject matter experts to develop the applications. This new sector of the economy also requires scores of 
 
people, such as accountants, administrative personnel, salespeople and managers in the back office, to successfully run and service the new businesses. In fact, one study found that
1
the app-economy has
 
created half a million new  jobs to serve the needs of this new economy.
2
 Broadband has also enabled people who have lost their jobs to search for new employment and learn new skills. There now exist a myriad of websites listing jobs in a navigable and sophisticated format that allows users to search based on their expertise, skills and compensation needs. Additionally, there are websites where the unemployed can acquire new skills and a new knowledge base to make them more qualified for positions. In many cases, people can obtain college and graduate degrees from accredited institutions through online courses over broadband connections.
 
The growth of broadband has had a real positive impact on the U.S. economy. For example, small communities in the Midwest have lost population as young people migrate to cities in search of better job opportunities. But with the help of broadband, some of these communities
 
have reinvented themselves as
“Silicon Prair
ies
” and become launching pads
for new businesses by focusing on areas such as application and website development.
3
 In small cities and towns like Kansas City and Omaha, clusters of startups and tech ventures are forming and growing the local economies.
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Over the past two years, the broadband industry has collectively invested over $120 billion in research, equipment and  people.

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